Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Françoise in Light & Dark

So many people send me that American Girl in Italy postcard by Ruth Orkin. Some people (still) use a song's lyrics, too, & think they're complimenting me. It is one of my favorite Dylan songs but please. I was thinking about it when I saw these pix. [She's got everything she needs/she's an artist, she don't look back/ (She Belongs to Me)]

Françoise Gilot, annoyingly referred to only as "Picasso's mistress," in a multi-exposure by Gjon Mili. In the second she is drawing with light. Also by Mili. This was during a 1949 visit to Picasso & Gilot in Vallauris, France. Every time I see similar dates in Europe or Asia on a letter or photograph, I think this is but [ _ ] years after the cataclysm we call WWII. Reading Gilot's books & many accounts of other artists, writers, poets, philosophers, & intellectuals (not to mention everyone--but most did not write memoirs) who stayed -- or were trapped -- in France during the war is harrowing, sobering, & inspiring.

We have Picasso to thank for saving so many of Matisse's works. Of course, there was no small amount hilarity in the old bull's machinations; finally, a worthy use for his extraordinary powers of manipulation: confusing the Gestapo officers on a Matisse canvas hunt. (Picasso hid them in a complicated story. Which is how he tricked the Gestapo.) A synopsis of that some day...unless, hey Pup, Pup? You want to do it? I'm tired. My toof hurts. Well, at least everyone interested in the intersection of art-artists-the-world-in-crisis should (I think) read Gilot's excellent Matisse & Picasso: A Friendship in Art.

Can't get to the TTT tag today but will tomorrow (or ?). It's rainy, drippy, & oof. A creative & peaceful evening to all.

ciao, buona notte


The Clever Pup said...

oooh. I'm tempted. I don't know this story. We've got a book by Rosumund Bernier in which she details her friendship with Picasso, Matisse and {Klee?}, maybe I can find out something there.

victoria thorne said...

lived in Germany from '70-'75, as a teenager

the older I get, the more I do the same math

only 2 years after the War...only 12 years after...

and, now, we do the math for the Wall...

i hope things keep opening instead of closing

hope you feel better soon.

thank you, again, for your lovely comment on my little essay ;)

giulia said...

Thank you, Victoria. I do the same kind of math you...& here I never thought I was good at math. I can whip out "since, before..." on so many conflicts, the Wall, Nelson Mandela's release from prison, etc. It's weird sometimes & so glad I have a soul-mate in this activity:)

As for le Pup. I remember reading (I think it was Gilot's description but others knew about it, too, so...) Picasso jumping & hopping around (I think literally) in his Paris studio & in the vaults where both Matisse & PP kept especially larger canvasses. Picasso played a shell game (of sorts)...anyway, he prevailed. But I remember laughing out loud. xosvs